High Winds Stroke Long Island As Storm Hits

Just east of New York City, towns in suburban Long Island are bracing for Tropical Storm Irene. Guest host John Ydstie speaks to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano about preparations in the area.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

JOHN YDSTIE, Host:

Just east of New York City, towns in suburban Long Island are bracing for Irene. High winds and flooding are being reported in Nassau County.

We're joined on the line by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. Hello, Mr. Mangano.

ED MANGANO: How are you doing?

YDSTIE: Now roughly, how many Nassau County residents are in the projected path? And how many of them have been evacuated?

MANGANO: Well, the storm surge area had been evacuated yesterday. All of the people that would normally not be able to get out of there - the nursing home people and the disabled and hospitals - we were able to evacuate safely. There's no way to calculate how many actually left. And of course, a number of people stayed behind and are in the storm surge zone.

YDSTIE: Ed, how many people in Nassau County - in the zone?

MANGANO: One point three million; about 300,000 in the zone.

YDSTIE: And where are the evacuees going?

MANGANO: We have a family and friend plan here - that we encourage that they just move out of the zone and stay the weekend with a family member or a friend. We have 20 shelters open, the shelters of ours. We have a last resort, about 4,000 residents are residing in our shelters right now.

YDSTIE: And any problems with the evacuation?

MANGANO: It did go smoothly. Our police department and our emergency management professionals, as well as our volunteer fire departments, just performed a wonderful job in moving people along.

YDSTIE: And while the storm was still hundreds of miles away, Long Island was already being hit by heavy winds, street flooding and power outages. And the high tide this morning raised concerns about this storm surge, right?

MANGANO: Yeah, the high tide is still of concern. You can see the water levels now in the barrier islands have breached, so we are concerned of the effect of high tide and additional winds will have on that, and we're monitoring that.

YDSTIE: Yeah. Where is the worst so far?

MANGANO: The barrier islands, Long Beach, in that area; and Freeport - that's where we're getting reports of flooding.

YDSTIE: And what's the plan after the storm? How long will it be before evacuated residents can go home?

MANGANO: That assessment is made immediately upon - when the storm ends. So, you know, our objective is to get them rapidly back to their homes.

YDSTIE: All right. Ed Mangano is the Nassau County executive. Thank you very much for speaking with us. And good luck.

MANGANO: Thank you.

Copyright © 2011 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.